Liverpool F.C.: The annual meeting of 1914 (Liverpool Echo)

June 19, 1914
The shortest annual meeting in the history of the Liverpool Football Club was that held last evening at the Law Association Rooms, Cook Street, under the presidency of Mr. John Asbury (chairman of directors). For this the satisfactory character of the balance-sheet and the season’s successes were mainly responsible. The chairman was supported by the following directors: – Messrs. John McKenna, William Robert Williams, William Coward Briggs, Edward Askew Bainbridge, Richard Lawson Martindale Snr, Albert Worgan, Thomas Crompton and John Keating.

In proposing the adoption of the financial statement, the Chairman congratulated the shareholders on the year’s results. The income from gate receipts, League and Central League matches amounted to £15,364. The net sum received from cup-tie matches was £5,700. The profit on the year, £8,780, was the highest thet had ever had (hear, hear).

They had made about £3,000 out of their League matches. Travelling expenses were only a little more than in the previous year, extra expenditure had been incurred in the matter of training, and as to the other items of expenditure, they were most lower than they were twelve months ago. Mortgage and other interest were about £160 less, and he hoped that next year would see a still further reduction in that respect.

The chairman added that the directors had unanimously voted £50 towards the Empress of Ireland Disaster Fund. They felt that, having had so good a year, the shareholders would not object to such a grant (hear, hear), especially as many of the victims of the disaster were, doubtless, good supporters of the club.

Liabilities reduced
Mr. William Robert Williams (chairman of the Finance Committee), in seconding, said that during the last two years the directors had reduced their immediate liabilities by about £11,000.

The statement of accounts was adopted.

On the motion of Mr. Richard Lawson Martindale Snr., seconded by Mr. D. Simms, a dividend of 5 per cent. was declared. It was stated that, contrary to former custom, the dividends would be paid at once.

Messrs. Simon Jude and West were re-elected auditors on the motion of Mr. Walter Sugg, seconded by Mr. John James Ramsay.

Mr. J.C. Cross, C.C., having withdrawn his name, which had been nominated for a directorship, Messrs. John Asbury, John McKenna and Richard Lawson Martindale Snr. were re-elected directors without opposition.

A lucky year
Mr. Tom Watson (manager) characterised the meeting as the most harmonious in the interest of the club. He referred to the earlier struggles of the club, and compared these with its more recent success. He hoped that in a few years Liverpool would be one of the wealthiest clubs in the country (hear, hear).

The past twelve months stood out as one of their lucky years. Although they had got into the Cup final, he was not going to say that last season’s team was the best team they had ever had. If they had had bad luck a few years ago they might have won the League championship and the English Cup in the one season. Last year they had had a good bit of luck, but it did not quite follow them to the finish (hear, hear).

The directors used to say a few years ago that they would not mind, if they got into the final, whether they won the Cup or not (laughter), because it would put them on their feet. No club was more popular than Liverpool (hear, hear). Men who had witnessed Cup finals for over thirty years said they never saw a club take its defeat so well as had Liverpool (hear, hear).

If they went on in that spirit and engendered that spirit among the players, he felt that before long they would be able to say that they owed no man a penny (hear, hear). Last year they spent a big sum on their players, but then had got a good return out of them, which was more than could be said for some other clubs (laughter and hear, hear). As to next season’s players, he did not think they would have anything to fear.

Next season’s players:
Mr. Watson added that the signing on next season were as follow:
Goalkeepers: Kenneth Campbell and Elisha Scott.
Backs: Ephraim Longworth, Robert Pursell, Robert Crawford, Frank Grayer and Sam Speakman.
Half-backs: Thomas Fairfoull, Harry Lowe, Bob Ferguson, Donald Mackinlay, James Scott, Walter Wadsworth, Charles Duffy and Phil Bratley.
Forwards: Jack Sheldon, Arthur Metcalf, Tom Miller, William Lacey, Jimmy Nicholls, William Banks, Robert Macdougall, Robert Terris, James Dawson, Charles Hafekost, Wilfred Bartrop and Fred Pagnam.

A cordial vote of thanks to the directors and manager was proposed by Mr. Crosbies and seconded by Mr. Sandbach.

Mr. Goulborn took exception to the action of the directors in abolishing the six-penny admission on the occasion of a particular cup tie. He reminded the directors that the six-penny spectators were the backbone of the club.

A shareholder remarked that the Liverpool Club were more than generous to six-penny patrons.

Mr. William Robert Williams (chairman of the Finance Committee) explained that when they played a cup tie they were only half-owners of the ground. They had to consult the wishes of the other club in regard to admission charges.

The vote of thanks was carried, and the Chairman, in acknowledging the compliment said the directors had always tried to do their best for the six-penny supporters. Occasionally, however, they could not help themselves.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: June 20, 1914)

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